Solskjaer bemused by rivals' VAR talk
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits he is perplexed by talk that his Manchester United side have been lucky with some VAR decisions this season.
The new technology has been introduced in a bid to provide clarity over big calls and United certainly benefited on Thursday night when Crystal Palace striker Jordan Ayew was found to be marginally offside. Had the on-field decision to give his goal been upheld, it would have levelled the score at 1-1.
However, there has been intense debate over penalty decisions for and against the Reds in our past two away matches - the Bruno Fernandes spot-kick given at Aston Villa and Victor Lindelof's challenge on Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, when referee Graham Scott decided the Swede got the ball first.
Ole's opposite number at Wembley in the Emirates FA Cup semi-final on Sunday, Chelsea's Frank Lampard, provided back-page headlines for most of the weekend newspapers when he said: "We seem to be in a period where, in terms of Manchester United, they’ve got a few [VAR decisions] in their favour
“I would like to think that with VAR you have to be level-headed. Some might go against you or not. But it would be nice if VAR worked in our favour in this one, I guess.”
The Blues manager was aggrieved when his side had two goals ruled out by VAR during our Premier League victory at Stamford Bridge in February.
Of course, there is another way of looking at the situation, when United have originally been given the wrong call on the pitch, such as the goals that were initially allowed at Liverpool and Everton, and there can never really be any argument over the offside verdicts when such a forensic system is employed.
When asked at his pre-match press conference whether he needs to put the record straight over any perceived favouritism from officials, Ole made a joking reference to Rafa Benitez, the former Liverpool boss, when saying: "If you look at the factual decisions - I don't want to sound like a certain manager, talking about facts - but if you're offside, you're offside. That's clear.
“I can sit here for hours now and try to talk about this. It looks like there's a narrative. It looks like people want to influence whoever's making the decisions, but I hear people talking about luck. That we have been lucky more than unlucky.
“Talking about lucky, the penalty that we got against Tottenham in the last minute that was taken away from us, that might be two points for us. Talking about the red card that [Oriol] Romeu should've had against us, when he got Mason Greenwood almost crippled, that should've been a red card, maybe that would have helped us.
“Talking about Mark Noble when he should've been sent off against us when we lost to West Ham," he added. "Talking about the actual decisions that are made that are against Man United but are overturned and corrected. So it is actually me that should be complaining that we get decisions against us on the pitch by the on-field referee.
“So, there's a narrative there. We just have to focus on our games. We've let other people talk about that. I don't want to go too much into it, because I might be in trouble. I'm pretty relaxed on this, but you know referees [in general] are going to be making objective decisions. They're not going to be influenced by any emotion anyway, so I don't think they'll read it.”
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